Anthony Davis is the best young big man in the NBA. At just 22 years old, he will run the league one day. The time’s just not there, yet. Blake Griffin is also another skilled power forward. The player that many thought would just be a flashy dunker has added more to his game and has become one of the most polished offensive players there is. However, he’s sidelined due to injury. Dirk Nowitzki is showing minimal signs of age and continues to dazzle everyone with his shooting, yet the Mavericks aren’t one of the best teams in the league.
Draymond Green should be the starting power forward on the Western Conference All-Star team and it’s not even close.
Green is averaging 15.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. On Monday night, he recorded his third consecutive triple double. Luke Walton didn’t mix any words when describing his star forward in his postgame presser.
“He’s a very unique player and it is very, very difficult to do,” Walton said. “You can’t say enough good things about him. It’s great to see someone like that have success like this.”
Green now has 8 triple doubles, tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the 4th most in Warriors franchise history. In 79 games last season, Green had 291 assists. In 34 games this year, he already has 254. He is on pace to crush the amount he had last year and leads forwards in assists as well. In comparison, LeBron James has 5.9 assists and Nicolas Batum averages 5.2 per game.
And he’s clearly a polished defender. Green holds his opponents to 39 percent shooting from the field. He can guard any position on the floor and the Warriors are nearly impossible to beat when he’s playing the five.
While Stephen Curry has gotten a tremendous amount of credit for the Warriors success this season (and rightfully so), many in the national media forget that Green is the second most valuable player on the team and it might be closer than they think.
Green is not a system player, he is the system. He is the fuel to their fire, their heartbeat, and the vocal leader of the team. There is a reason why Steve Kerr elected him as starter last season over proven All-Star David Lee, outside of the fact that he was injured. Green has changed the game. Every team wants that stretch four and are envious of what he brings to the Warriors.
And while stretch fours aren’t exactly rare anymore, it’s more difficult to find one that shoots the ball well and plays good defense. A major component of Golden State’s continuous success, Green does it both.
Curry is virtually locked as a starter of the 2016 All-Star game alongside Kobe Bryant. Draymond Green deserves to be in that same line-up alongside some of the best players in the league. He will be voted in by the coaches regardless, so he’ll be on the team. But the thought of the Warriors having two deserving starters heading to Toronto for the All-Star game is too good of an opportunity to pass up. Do the right thing, NBA fans.